Monthly Archives: June 2016

I am Invisible (to bartenders)

This seems to happen to me more frequently as I get older, and possibly a little shorter.  I stand at a bar conspicuously displaying (if not waving) a twenty dollar bill at the bartenders that are hustling to and fro waiting on …other customers.  Frequently, one of the men standing at the bar (there are almost always men standing at bars) will eventually wave down a bartender on my behalf.  Apparently  I am not (yet) invisible to men at bars…. unless they also happen to be the bartenders.

On a recent weeknight evening I met an old (as in I’ve known her for a long time) friend at a restaurant/bar.  At that time of day the staff outnumbered the few customers.  Despite the abundance of waitstaff, we seemed to be sitting in a blind spot of sorts;  we eventually concluded we were not going to get any service despite the fact that several (non-busy) waitresses walked by us since our arrival.  We walked to the bar to get drinks, where the bartender struck up a lengthy conversation with one of the kitchen workers between taking and fulfilling our drink requests.  *sigh*

We sat with our drinks and decided we should probably eat something… which required a great deal of persistence in getting the actual attention of a waitperson so that we could order some food.  The only person who actually made eye contact with us all evening was the very polite young man who delivered our food from the kitchen.

Yes, this was an extreme example of poor service, and is not my usual experience at this, or at other, restaurants.  However, the bar ‘thing’ is not an anomaly…. it is the norm.  I believe it is primarily because I am short; and bartenders at a busy bar will visually scan for patrons horizontally, versus vertically.   Maybe I need a big hat with velcro at the top–to which I can afix a $20 bill along with my drink order.

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

We are enjoying a particularly lovely summer week.  We have begun the annual tradition of cramming as much FUN as is humanly possible into the short and gorgeous Wisconsin summer.

Dan and I used the Solstice as an excuse to have a get together at our (still new-ish to us) house: the weather cooperated nicely, and we had a great turn out.  It’s always a good idea to have people over periodically to motivate us to do some cleaning and sprucing up, inside and out.

It occurs to me that our family and friends are getting to an age, that it may be advisable to ask our guests sign a liability waiver before entering our stair-ridden home.  I was diligent to point out the fact that we have a SUNKEN living room to all guests… (the memory of my father’s fall is still very fresh). However, we had no injuries and lots of laughs — playing badminton with an LED lit birdie in the dark.

Monday was the ACTUAL solstice: we had a very pleasant evening listening to a live band, while visiting with a small group of friends at monthly neighborhood event. There was a USTA match going on in the adjacent tennis courts, that included several of my tennis friends.  I wandered over to the courts between music sets and scored a glass of wine during their court-side post match picnic, and was given $5 that was said to be owed to me for some reason that no one could recall.  All in all, a well rewarded visit!

I coordinate a local rec group that gets together to play tennis on Wednesday nights.  Its a bit of a motley crew with a wide range of abilities; everyone is super friendly,  and we make it work with whoever shows up.  Tonight, the rain skirted our courts, and we had some very competitive and fun sets.

Tomorrow I have two social events after work… One is a reunion of sorts for those of us that worked in the IT dept of Oscar Mayer foods at some point over the last 30 years … the plant and office is being shut down — its an opportunity to reunite with people that I used to be close to, but haven’t seen for a very long time.  After that, I will join my current work team at a Mallards / college baseball game.

I’ll catch up on my sleep in the winter!

My Club

It occurs to me that I am in a club  that I didn’t sign up for.  There are clubs for parents of multiples, there are clubs for parents of children with Downs Syndrom;  there should be a club for parents of children with mental illnesses.  It is reminiscent of the story Welcome to Holland; wherein the mother plans a trip to Italy, but wakes up to find herself in Holland — their new baby has a disability and the ‘planned’ itinerary to go to Italy has been altered significantly, she finds herself in Holland – living a different kind of life than she expected.

In my upper-middle-class community we have clear expectations for our young people as they launch into the world.  High school with honors is to be followed by college with honors (or at least without dishonor);   they are expected to successfully navigate through the complex social jungle that is high school (preferably enjoying every minute of these ‘salad days with a group of popular and attractive friends);  followed by navigating the temptations and choices offered by a college setting; usually  while living away from the watchful eye of their parents for the first time.

In truth, neither I or any of my kids followed this ‘golden’ path.  With apologies to my children: they inherited a number of characteristics from my side of the family:  This includes the shortness gene, a  geek gene, and a  varied dose of whatever gene contributes to depression.

Readers of this blog know that my youngest child, Guzzy, is in recovery from a serious eating disorder.  The path behind her is rocky, and the path in front of her is hazy.   Last night I spoke with a woman who lost a daughter to her eating disorder at an event they were sponsoring to raise funds  in their daughter’s memory.  As I hugged her tightly, I thanked her for doing this.  Her repy was “what else can I do? crawl into a hole?.”

As a parent, we go on– while supporting our children (or honoring their memory) as best we can.  Friends  who have not gone down this path do not know what it is like, and do not understand–through no fault of their own:  It’s akin to explaining what it’s like to be a parent to someone who has never spent time with a child.

Personally, I struggle with how to answer the question:  “How is Guzzy”?   I generally say “Fine, she’s doing Fine”.  What else can I Say?  Perhaps I could offer that she is swimming somewhere between Italy and Holland and I am yelling advice and support from the shore–advice that is most often blown away with the wind.



2016 Madison NEDA Walk

JOIN in the fight against eating disorders in a fun and tangible way!  I coordinate this walk for her and the hundreds of others in our own community that struggle with this horrible illness. Earlier this year, one of our 2015 walkers tragically succumbed to her eating disorder.  This make me more determined than ever to raise awareness, as well as money, in her memory.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!  October 9th at 10:00 in Vilas Park.  Check it out at Rockin the Walk

There is HOPE!  Recovery is possible. Show your support to those that suffer and their families; while raising funds that will go towards research, education, support and other advocacy programs.

Last year this walk raised over $19,000 and I hope to beat that goal in 2016.